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Family Law

In India Family Law basically refers to rights and duties on the basis of matrimonial relationship which can broadly be further classified into marriages, divorce, maintenance, adoption, remarriage, distribution of assets, family settlements, succession of property.

Marriges in India: India being a cosmopolitan country tolerates personal laws of its citizen. As a result each citizen of India is entitled to have his own personal laws inter alia in the matter of marriage and divorce. Hindus are governed by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 which provides for the conditions of a Hindu Marriage where under the bridegroom should be of 21 years and bride of 18 years, they both should be Hindus and should not be within the degree of prohibited relationship or sapindas, neither party should have a spouse living nor any party should be subject to recurrent attacks of insanity or epilepsy, either of them should not be suffering from mental disorders or should not be unfit for marriage and procreation of children and both should be of sound mind and capable of giving valuable consent and law codified in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 subject to of course customs and rites of a given area or society.

Muslims are governed by their personal laws under which "Nikah" (i.e. marriage) is a contract and may be permanent or temporary and permits a man 4 wives if he treats all of them equally. To have a valid "Nikah" under the Muslim Law, presence of a Qazi (Priest) is not necessary. Merely a proposal in the presence and hearing of two sane males or one sane male and two sane female adults, all Muslims and acceptance of the said proposals at the same time constitute a valid Nikah under the Muslim Personal Law.

For Parsees there is a Parsee Marriage & Divorce Act, 1939 which governs the provisions of their marriage and law and for Indian Christian there is a Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889
Persons of any religion who get married under the Special Marriage Act, 1954 are governed by the said act. There are certain penal provisions also in the Criminal Procedure Code providing for the maintenance of the wife and provisions of Indian penal Code provides punishment for bigamy etc these provisions are universal applicable to approximately all.
SO BROADLY LAW OF MARRIAGE IN INDIA is codified in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, 2, The Foreign Marriage Act 1969, The Family Courts Act, 1984, The Shariat Act, The Special Marriage Act, 1954, The Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act 1936, Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889 and subject to prevalent customs and rites of the area and society to which subject belongs and The Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929.
MARRIAGE REGISTRATION IN INDIA
The subject has been taken up suo motu in the light of the directions of the Supreme Court dated 14.2.2006 in Seema v. Ashwani Kumar [2006 (2) SCC 578] that all marriages shall be compulsorily registered and that the State Governments shall initiate action for rule-making in this regard. There is a great diversity in respect of laws for registration of marriages.
DIVORCE : As discussed above that in marriage & Divorce each citizen of India is entitled to have his own personal laws inter alia. Divorce in hindus can be obtained on the grounds of Adultery, Cruelty, Desertion for two years, Conversion in religion, Unsound mind, Suffering from venereal disease and/or Leprosy has renounced the world not heard for 7 years no resumption of co-habitation for one year after the decree of judicial separation, no restitution of conjugal rights for one year after decree for restitution of conjugal rights, Husband guilty of rape, sodomy or bestiality etc the law of divorce is codified in Hindu Marriage Act 1955.
In Muslims a husband can divorce his wife without any reasons merely by pronouncing thrice the word "Talak". However for a Muslim woman to obtain divorce certain conditions are necessary. The entire muslim divorce law is prescribed in two codified law i.e The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986 & The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939 and subject to customs prevalent in a prescribed area, society and the foremost holy book of Muslim KURAN .
For Parsees there is a Parsee Marriage & Divorce Act, 1939 which governs the provisions of their marriage and law and for Indian Christian there is a Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889.
For others it is governed by The Special Marriage Act and The Indian Divorce Act, The Family Court Act etc.
BROADLY LAW OF MARRIAGE IN INDIAis codified in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, 2, The Foreign Marriage Act 1969, The Family Courts Act, 1984, The Shariat Act, The Special Marriage Act, 1954, The Parsi Marriage & Divorce Act 1936, Indian Christian Marriage Act 1889, The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 and Muslim Personal Law etc.
LIST OF LAWS AFFECTING MATRIMONIAL LAW IN INDIA :

  • The Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act, 2005
  • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
  • The Foreign Marriage Act, 1969
  • The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
  • The Hindu Minority & Guardianship Act, 1956
  • The Indian Divorce Act
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Maternity Benefits Act, 1961
  • The Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937
  • The Muslim Women (Protection Of Rights On Divorce) Act, 1986
  • The Dissolution Of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939
  • The Special Marriage Act, 1954
  • The Hindu Succession Act, 1956
  • The Hindu Adoptions And Maintenance Act, 1956
  • The Indian & Colonial Divorce Jurisdiction Act, 1940
  • The Anand Marriage Act, 1909
  • The Arya Marriage Validation Act, 1937
  • The Matrimonial Causes (War Marriage) Act 1948
  • The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929

Family Law normally lead to following legal remedies:
  • Registration of marriages
  • Divorce
  • Dowry demand complaint cases
  • Domestic violence cases
  • Police protection
  • Maintenance
  • Restitution of conjugal rights
  • Child marriages
  • Adoption
  • Guardianship
  • Inheritance & Succession
  • Probate and wills
  • Partition
  • Dowry Death cases
  • 498A IPC cases
  • Consultation & Mediation
  • Personal laws
  • Muslim laws
  • Hindu Law
  • Christian law

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